Sew Up North 2018

Now apologies everyone! It’s been over a month ago now that our event taken place ….Wow, what day we all had!! Don’t know about you guys but i’m thinking i’m still recovering!! 

But i thought i’d share my thoughts around Sew Up North

As always, i like to have a new me made outfit ready so i decided on to make myself a Tilly and The Buttons Cleo Dungaree at last using the bargain piece of Denim from my trip to Dewsbury back in July and team it with my Frankie Top and of course not forgetting a selection of pins!

Apologies to the people that had issues with eventbrite’s emails/links, not sure why it decided to play silly buggers as it worked perfectly for Last year. But hey ho got there in the end!

We would of had more people attending if it wasn’t for the current round of rail strikes meant that lots of people had to make quite late changes to their plans, which was obviously outside anyone’s control. People were kind enough to let me know about their changed plans in the hope that others could use their tickets, which was lovely of them, but has Becca mentioned that the Eventbrite site is not the easiest to use when it comes to managing wait lists! 

For the first time whilst organising this meet up I was actually looking forward to the event, I’m normally a nervous wreck! That was thanks to all the lovely people who’d signed up in advance to help out with the running of things of the day. I cannot thank you guys enough, it made such a massive difference to how smoothly the day ran and for not Becca and I to be a flap all day!

Lorraine (My Friend who is relatively new to sewing and savour of getting myself to Leeds!) and my Myself got to John Lewis by about 9:20, and found Charlotte aka Englishgirlathome which travelled all the way from Birmingham!!! Now that is dedication! Also to find a group of eager sewists already in the cafe! Not sure why i didn’t buy myself a drink whilst I was there thunk i was buzzing from my pumpkin spice latte from starbucks at junction 32!

There was a somewhat awkward moment when Becca and I had to bellow for attention across the John Lewis cafe (which did have some non sewing people in it; apologies to them!) and then the huge crowd of people set off around Leeds.

I made myself a list of what fabric I needed so I only needed fabric to make a snuggly hoody dress and freya dress both from Tilly’s Book Stretch. Which i did buy from B & M as they kindly offered us all 10% off purchases of £15… a girl can’t say no to that!! The Bambi Print is going to be used the Stella and Spot Print for the Freya!  

I had to laugh in B&M; there was very rapidly an ever expanding queue of excited people cuddling bolts of fabric wrapped all the way around the shop, with others queuing to get inside. But everyone was in good spirits and led to lots of random conversations and comparisons of planned purchases, which is one of the things I love the best about the event.

Still can’t believe there is a sneaky staircase to the bottom of the shop where Sue and Mike are to offer sewing classes in the future with tea making and toilet facilities of course we had to try it out.

You can’t take simona anywhere ?

After a fairly brief stroll around the market, I headed over to the Boathouse with Lorraine, Gemma and Simona. The time escaped me, failed miserably to be the first there!

Hahaha Becca got a photo of me grabbing fabric but anyone else did…. I don’t take prisoners! Not sure what the lady thought behind me!! ?

It’s a true testament to the benefits of asking for help that I actually got chance for not just a drink but an actual lunch this year; definitely didn’t happen last year! I hope everyone’s lunch was as good as mine! Still can’t believe that we had free pizza too, can’t say no to freebies ?

I actually had time to rummage for fabric and patterns on the swap table; I actually managed to 3 decent sized pieces of black stretch lace, grey striped jersey and this cute cherry print jersey from Beth aka madcouser. I came away with a few patterns that Gemma and Simona found for me to make a 1920 themed dress for my works ball – But i didn’t make it in the end though!!, but thank you ladies for your help.

When it came time to draw the raffle, it all got a bit complicated. We’d been promised a PA system but that didn’t materialise and we also struggled to get the background music turned down. Add to that the fact that we were spread across two floors…. well. Thank goodness for extra volunteers to hand out physical prizes and take email addresses (thanks Heather and Simona) and to incredible sponsors who were willing to be downstairs on the receiving end of a WhatsApp call being shown pictures of winning raffle tickets! Laura, thank you!

49 prizes later and we were done (in more ways than one mind you!) A lot of people had to head off early to face the joy of the rail replacement bus service (myself included) so things did wind up a little earlier than normal, and all that remained was to cash up.

Thank you to our ad hoc helpers dived in and helped Beccaa to count the cash, which, after a couple of last minute donations to get us over the £1k mark, came to an outstanding £1,012!!! Wowsers!!

This really is astonishing! It’s a fabulous amount of money to raise for a truly deserving cause and I cannot thank you all for your generosity enough.

I think the only slight shadow on both Becca and my day was my first experience of someone in the sewing community really taking advantage. 🙁

I won’t name names, but there was someone who, despite having been told (politely and repeatedly) over the preceding weeks that there was a wait list, that you did need a ticket and that we didn’t advertise non-charity events either on our Facebook or on the day, turned up anyway with a big smile on their face and proceeded to push their own business. You know who you are and we were not impressed.

An event like this takes a massive amount of work and effort behind the scenes; Becca and I have poured countless hours over the last 3 years into this willingly, both because we’re firm believers in the charity itself and for the benefit of the local sewing community. I think it takes some big balls to turn up at something like that and brazenly use it entirely to your own advantage and I’m pretty disgusted.

Bu anyways!!

As always, I spoke to so many people on the day and, as usual, i’ve failed miserably to remember names or details because my brain was in total overload! So i do apologise if i have forgotten to mention anyone! Please let me know!

Oh yes not forgetting my fabric twinnie Charlotte aka Englishgirl! 

Also a big thank you to Jane who made a apron for Becca and I as a Thank you, it’s very much appreciated as you didn’t have to go to the trouble of making us a gift! I am really grateful as it such a thoughtful gift!

So from the bottom of my heart thank you for everyone’s support either in  the way of of our lovely Sponsors for the Charity Raffle, You kind hearted lot that offered to help out as our Sewcial Squad, to everyone attended too and not forgetting my Sewing Partner in Crme Becca as we couldn’t of made it as such as a success with you!

Sal xx

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